Lyman Abbott.

That unknown country : or, What living men believe concerning punishment after death, together with recorded views of men of former times. The whole field explored, every source of wisdom, past and pr online

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According TO THE


< VjnNIONS ov S.VGES, SCllOl^MlS ^l)rVLNF3.


[plSilSdOT Jim

That Unknown Country











C. A. NICHOLS & CO., Publishers




Copyright, 188S,
By C. a. NICHOLS & CO.

All rights reserved.






Rev. LYMAN ABBOIT, D.D., Pastor Plymoutli Cliurcli, Brooklyn ; Editor The
Christian Union.

Rev. JOHN COLEMAN ADAMS, D.D., Pastor St. Paul's Uuiversalist Church,

Rev. JOSEPH ANGUS, M.A., D.D., President Regent's Park College, London, En-
gland. Member of the Bible Revision.

Kev. LEONARD WOOLSEY BACON, D.D., Philadelphia.

Rev. L. C. BAKER, AM., Editor Words of Beconciliation, Philadelphia.

Rev. S. C. BARTLETT, D.D., LL.D., President Dartmouth College.

Rev. JxVMES M. BUCKLEY, D.D., Editor The Christian Advocate, New York.

Rev. F. W. CONRAD, D.D., Editor The Lutheran Observer, Philadelphia.

Rev. HOWARD CROSBY, D.D., LL.D., Late Chancellor of New York University.

Rev. JOSEPH CUMMINGS, D.D., LL.D., President Northwestern University, Evans-
ton, 111.

Rev. E. DePRESSENSE, D.D., Life Member of the French Senate, Paris, France.

Rev. F.W. FAR RAR, Archdeacon of Westminster, and Chaplain to the Queen of

Rev. GEORGE P. FISHER, Professor Ecclesiastical History, Yale University.

Rev. T. W. FOWLE, M.A., Islip Rectory, Oxford, England.

Rev. CHAS. H. FOWLER, D.D., LL.D., Bishop M. E. Church.

]!ev. W. H. FRENCH, D.D., Pastor United Presbyterian Church, Cincinnati, 0.

Rev. E. V. GERHART, D.D., Professor German Reformed Sem., Lancaster, Pa.

Rev. CHAUNCEY GILES, D.D., LL.D,, Pastor New .Jerusalem Church, Philadelphia.

Rev. WASHINGTON GLADDEN, D.D., Pastor First Congregational Church, Colum-
bus, Ohio.

Rev. FREDERICK GODET, D.D., Professor Theolog. Faculty, Neuchatel, Switzerland.

Rev. EDWARD EVERETT HALE, D.D., Pastor South Cong. (Unitarian) Church,

Rev. GEORGE HARRIS, D.D., Professor Christian Theology, Andover Seminai-y.

Rev. E. R. HENDRIX, D.D., Bishop M. E. Church (South).

Rev. AUGUSTINE F. HE WIT, D.D., Superior of the Paulist Institute, New York. %

Rev. JOHN H. HOPKINS, S.T.D., Burlington, Vt.

Rev. J. W. HOTT, D.D,, Editor The Religious Telescope (United Brethren).


Rev. F. D. HUNTINGTON, D.D., LL.D., Bishop Protestant Epis. Cliurch of Central

New York.
Rev. ABRAM S. ISAACS, D.D., Editor The Jewish Messenger, New York.

Rev. henry E. JACOBS, D.D., Professor Evangelical Lutheran Sem., Philadelphia.

Rev. JAMES LEGGE, D.n., Professor Chinese Literature and Language, Oxford
I'niversity, England.

Rev. A. H. I-KWIS, D.D., Editor The Outlook and Sahbath Quarterly.

Rev. DANIEL A. LONG, A.M., D.D., LL.D., President Antioch College, Ohio.

Rev. CHKISTOPIIER E. LUTIIARDT, D.D., Leipzig, Germany.

Rev. R. S. M.icARTHUR, D.D., Pastor Calvary Baptist Church, New York.

Cardin.m, HENRY E. MANNING, Archbisliop of Westminster, England.

Rev. a. a. MINER, D.D., LL.D., Pastor Columbus-Avc. Universalist Cliurch, Boston.

Rev. A. 1". PEABODY, D.D., LL.D., Professor Harvard University.

Piior. STANLEY LANE-P()(.»LE, Translator "Speeches and Tahle-talk of Sloham-

Rev. C. W. PRITCHARD, Editor The Christian Worker, Chicago.

Prof. T. W. RHYS DAVIDS, London University. Late Judge of the Court in Ceylon.

Rev. J. ^V. RICHARD, D.D., Professor Theological Seminary, Springfield, Ohio.

Rev. AUGUSTUS SCHULTZE, D.D., President Moravian Theological Seminary,
Bethlehem, Pa.

Rev. JOSEPH T. SMITH, D.D., Late Moderator Presbyterian General Assembly, Bal-

Hon. G. G. STOKES, President of the Royal Society of England. Member of Parlia-
ment for the University of Cambridge.

Rev. N. SUMMERBELL, D.D., Pastor Christian Church, Milford, N. J.

Pkof. DAVID SWING, (Independent,) Chicago.

Rev. T. DeWITT TALMAGE, D.D., LL.D., Pastor Brooklyn Tabernacle.

Rev. WM. J. R. TAYLOR, D.D., Pastor Dutch Reformed Church, Newark, N. J.

Bev. H. W. THOMAS, D.D., Pastor People's Church, Chicago.

Rev. CHARLES F. THAVING, Pastor Plymouth Church, Minneapolis, Minn.

Rev. EDWARD WHITE, D.D., Professor in New College, London, England.


In the course of reeeut public discussious which attracted wide
attention, especially in America, and wliicli involved questions con-
cerning the state of human existence after death, it appeared, if not
to participants, at least to many on-lookers, from near and far, that
there was much uncertainty and vagueness in men's minds, we will
not say as to their opinions, hut as to each other's opinions.

This is as much as to say that there was wanting one of the pri-
mary conditions of intelligent and profitable discussion. No waste
of words and arguments is more useless than discussion wliich im-
putes to an antagonist opinions which he does not hold, or makes
him responsible for inferences wliich he repudiates.

Not oidy to furnish a basis for intelligent argument among theo-
logians, but among all thoughtful and reasonable men to give what-
ever of definiteness and certainty can be attained on subjects which
to all serious mincLs are invested Avith a grave interest and an awful
fascination, there was need of a source of information for which the
libraries of the world might be searched in vain. This is the need
which the present volume i^roposes to supjjly.

What are the beliefs of the present day concerning the Life to
Come ? The answer must be sought from sincere and thoughtful
men among our contemporaries, representing various schools and
tendencies of theological opinion. And it is to these Ave have ap-
pealed. Among the names of the writers for this volume Avill be
found some whose fame is co-extensive with the English language ;
and" others who through wide regions and communions are honored
as leaders or representatives of religious thought. And, unless we


have failed of our purpose, no important school of theological opin-
ion is without its able and adequate representative here.

The volume might have been more curious if it had rano-ed over
a wider field. But to enhance its real interest and A'alue, the writers
have been requested to treat of the future life in its penal aspect

The intelligent reader will exjject to find, as the natural and help-
ful introduction to such a volume, some sort of exhibit of the opin-
ions of former ages. And he will not be disappointed. A catena
of the irtterances of ancient Fathers and Doctors of the Church, as
well as of more modern Theologians, prepared under the direction
of one of the most eminent of li\'ing scholars in ecclesiastical his-
tory, occupies by no means the least important pages of the book.

It remains only to commend the book, witli all its wide diversity

of belief and argument, to the thoughtful attention of this most

serious and thoughtful age.


Spkingfleld, Massachusetts, 1889.



Opinions of Former Ages of tlie Cliristian Cliurcli Concerning Future Ruiishment, in
the Language of Representative Writers.— First Patristic Period : Tlie First Tliree
Centuries. — Second Patristic Period : A. D. 301-600. — The Scholastic Period. — The
Reformation Period 3:3


By the Rev. Lymax Abbott. D.D., Congregational Pastor of the Plymouth Church. Brooklyn. X. y.,
and Editor of the CftrUtian Union, Xew York City.

Revelation the Only Source of Knowledge on this Subject. — Changed Views of God's
Character and Administration. — This Change Leads to New Conceptions of the
Future Life. — The New Views a Return to the Scriptural as Against Pagan Teach-
ings. — Free Will Necessary to Virtue. — Persuasion, Not Compulsion, the Condi-
tion of Salvation. — Spiritual Self-Destruction jUtogether A^oluntary and in Face of
the Divine Pleadings. — Fatal Objection to the " Larger Hope " Tlieory — Unending
Conscious Sin and Torment Not a Bible Doctrine. — Errors alike of " Orthodox "
and Universalist Writers. — Continuity of Being Belongs Only to Those Who Ac-
cept Immortality in Christ. — No Locality in the Universe where Sin is in Supreme
and Unending Activity. — All the Resoiu:ces of Divine Love Will Go Forth to Every
Soul Before its Destiny Becomes Final G-i


By Rev. John Coleman Adams. D.D., Pastor of St. Paul's tTniversalist Church, Chicago. 111.

AH Punishment must be Salutary, Disciplinary, Remedial, not Vengeful ; and what-
ever Punishment may be Needed in the World to Come, to Bring Souls to Repent-
ance, will be Administered Parentally, not Vindictively. — Salvation from Sin and
its Deformities is the Normal Destiny of Every Soul. — Repentance and Abandon-
ment of all Evil the Means to this End. — The Spiritual Progi'ess wrought by Chris-
tianity is and must be toward the Universal Emancipation from Vice. — Tlie Good
of the Race Manifestly Attainable by a Terminable I'unishment. — Christianity
Tends to Conviction that there ought to be a Higher Aim in Punishment than
Vengeance. — God's Judgments and Retributions are in the Nature of Love and
Reclamation, not in Hatred. — An Aimless, Unmitigated, and Eternal Curse upon
any Creature not Characteristic of the Beneficence of Deity. — The Work of Salva-
tion not Limited to the Present Physical Life. — Tliis Fact Covers all the Relations
of Christ and Eternity to the Heathen and to those who Perished before He came
on Earth, or who have never Known Him in this Life. — Suffering and Discipline
for Continued Sinful Choice extend into the Future World, until, in God's Econ-
omy, the Will finally makes Free Choice of Good. — The Losses and Penalties En-
tailed by Sin in the Moral Nature are Repaired, in the Future Life, only after
Periods of Unknown Duration. . . . • 77



By Prof. Joseph Angus. M..\., D.D., Baptist, Regent's Park College, London, Eng.

The Final Condemnation ol the Impenitent is Not Inconsistent with the Divine
Fatherliood, the Divine Love, and the of Clirist, all of which are Ranged
on Man's Side, to influence him in CJhoosing God and Hating Evil. — Diverse Influ-
ence of Butler's " Analogy " and Tennyson's " In Memoriam," in this Discussion.
— Great Effect of the Poet's Phrase, " the Larger Hope," on Sensitive Natures. —
Mistaken Notion Prevalent that God's Righteousness is Subordinated to his Mercy,
in dealing with Sinners. — Testimony of Dr. Watts, and other Preachers, to the
Efficacy of Fear, rather than Persuasion, in Producing Conversions. — The words
" Wrath " and " Vengeance " of God often Used to his Dishonor. — Man to be Pun-
ished not for any One Sin or Act, but for a General and Willful Drift of Evil Char-
acter through Life, i. e., Voluntary and Habitual Sin. — But Single Sins may lead to
Irremediable Habit. — This Fact, and the Perversity of Man's Will, Justify the
Divine Warnings and Threatenings. — Eternal Life for the Righteous, and Eternal
Death for the Wicked, begin Here. — Pmiishment is not Reformatory, nor is there
any Re-adjudication of Destiny in the World to Come 05


By Kev. Leonard Wool.sey Bacon, D.D., Congregiitionalist.

Six Points that are very common in the Traditional Orthodox Treatment of the Sub-
ject, which the Writer positively Rejects : — 1. That Punishment is to be without
Gradation or Discrimination — the Code of Draco imported into Christian Theology.
— 2. The False Assumption that the Human Soul is Essentially Indestructible. — 3.
The False Criterion of Salvation or I'erdition set up by the Edwardean Preachers. —
4. The Arguments from LTtility and Expediency that are set up on all sides of this
discussion. — 5. The Vicious a priori Method of much Orthodox Theologizing, which
is, in the worst sense of the word. Rationalistic. — 6. The Unchristian Tone and
Temper with which the subject is treated : the Serene and Composed ; the Vio-
lent; the Jocose.

The Subject being thus cleared of Factitious Difficulties, we are prepared to receive
Four Points of Scriptural Teaching : — 1. The Judge of All the Earth will do Right,
in the Human Sense of the Word. — 2. The Scriptures, while Distingtiishing abso-
lutely between the Righteous and the Vv'icked, also Recognize Gradations in both
Classes. — 3. The Divine Judgment includes among the Saved the Righteous Hea-
then. — I. Some Cases under the Divine Jurisdiction are subject to a Doom which
is Final, Irreversible, Eternal. — The Meaning of " Hell-fire."

Various Evasions of the Austerity of the Current Orthodoxy proposed by its -\dvo-
cates : — 1. The " Andover Hypothesis," or Future Probation. — 2. The Representa-
tion that Punishment is Mental, not Material ; and is effected by Natural Causes. —
3. The Argument concerning " jEonian." — i. The " Music Hall Hypothesis," or
Regeneration in Articulo Mortis. — .5. The " Princeton Hypothesis," or Salvation of
Foetus in Utero. — All these Attempted Theodicies are Valuable as Confessions of
Discontent with the Traditionary Doctrine 11-5


By Rev. L. C. Baker, A. M., Presbyterian, EiUtorof Words of Reconciliation, Pliiladelphia, Pa.

A Promise of Future Blessing Underlies the whole Retributive Scheme of Revelation.
— Grave Mistake of Modern Theology in Disregarding the Old Testament Concep-


tioiis of this Subject.— Germinal rromise in Genesis, that in a Chosen Seed all the
Families of the Earth should be Blessed. — The " all " Embraces the Dead. — Hope
of Deliverance and of Renewed Opijorlunity in Life Foreshadowed. — The Penalty
of Sin is an Impending Loss of Body and Soul preceding Resurrection. — The
Redeeming Power of Christ to Reach all the Regions of the Dead. — Through Him,
the Primal Curse to be met by a Fair and Just Probation for all, after .Judgment
is Rendered, Penalty Executed, an1)., LL.D.,, rresbyterian. Late Cluancellor of New York University.

The Notion of a Future State Not Inherent in Man's Nature. — It is Imparted Directly
by God.— The Asserted Silence of Moses on this Subject Denied. — The Prophecies
and Promises Necessarily Involve a Life Beyond. — Unquestionable Perpetuity of
those Begotten and Beloved of the Lord. — Immortality not Originated but Illumined
by Christ. — Continued Consciousness, not Annihilation, Taught by " Unquenchable
Fire." — The Wicked Excluded from Heavenly Life, but Not Extinct. — They For-
ever Sink in Sin and Corruption. — Two Classes Separated by an Impassable Gulf.
— Ultimate Universal Forgiveness, or Restoration, would Include the Sin for which
Christ Most Solemnly Declared there was " No Forgiveness " in Either World. —
Error of the Materialistic View. — God, whose Inspired Definition is Love, can be
No Cruel Executioner. — All Suffering Self-Inflicted 209


By Rev. Cummings, D.D.. LL.D.. Melhodist Episcop.^l,
President uf NorUiweslein University, Kvaiiston, HI.

Awful Characteristic of Retribution after Death as Compared with Earthly Suffering.
— Anti-Scriptural Opposition to this Ancient Doctrine Notably Developed of Late
Years. — Citations from the Gross and Shocking Views of God's Character which
have prevailed. — The True Theory is that Punishment is the Inevitable Sequence
of one's Own Chosen Conduct. — The Universe, alike Material and Spiritual, Founded
on Divine Laws. — Order, Harmony, and Happiness, the Ordained Outcome of Obe-
dience to these Laws. — All Disorder, I'hysical and Moral, is Produced by Disobedi-
ence. — Explanation of the Origin of Evil as Found in the Free Agencj- of Man. —
Man's Voluntary. Intentional, Unrepented Sin, alone Culpable. — A Vastly Greater
Number of those Born on Earth will be Saved than will be Lost. — The now Favor-
ite Theory that Punishment is Reformatory and Preventive, is Proved False by
most Abundant Evidence. — Though Justice Involves I'miishmeut in the Case of


Intentional Guilt, the Acceptance of Christ's Atonement Secures Forgiveness. —
Unequal Penalties Characterize Earthly Laws and Courts, but the Award of God
is Unerringly in Accordance with the Deeds done in the Body. — No Additional
Motives or Opportunities for a Moral Change Possible in Another "World. — God is
without the Shadow of Passion or Viudictiveness in Dealing with Sinners. . . 22?,


liy Kev. E. DePeessense, D.D.

Historical Review of the Subject. — The Fathers, the Catholic Church, the Reformers,
the Modern Rationalists. — Punishment Founded in the Divine Justice, which is
Love. — Among Evangelical Christians, two Main Opposing Opinions : 1, Eternal-
ism; 2, Uuiversalism. — The Former Class dividtd into (1) Strict Calvuiists, and (2)
Tliose who Maintain the Freedom of the Will. — The Latter Sustained by the
Scriptures. — The Doctrine of Eternal Punishment not Conclusively Derived from
Scripture. — Bible Implications of Redemptive Activity beyond the Grave. — God'.s
Mercy Endureth forever. — Universalism equally without Conclusive Warrant of
Scripture. — A Dark Possibility. — 3, An Intermediate Hypothesis : Conditionalism.
— This Hypothesis Untenable 24:^


By Fredebick W. Farbar. T).1).. Archdeacon of We.>;lminsler, C'haplain lo the
l^iieeii of £iit;Liiid, Author of the LO'e of CIttUt, etc.

Belief Held by Many for Fifteen Centuries. — Some Different Views by Eminent Relig-
ious Teachers. — Sermon Preached in AVestminster Abbey, Xov. 11, 1877, on "Hell
— AVliat It Is Jsot." — Repudiation of the Ghastly Averments of Augustinianism, Cal-
vinism, etc. — A Gracious Shadow Cast Over the Lurid Dogma. — Defense of the
Deity Against Being Infinitely Implacable and Remorselessly Cruel. — No Such Ser-
mon Heard in the Abbey for Six Centuries. — Electric 'ITirill of Gratitude Flashed
Through Two Contments. — Dean Stanley's Earnest Congratulations. — Honors from
the English Episcopate, Universities, and Innumerable Clergymen. — So Formulary
of the Church of England Contravened. — The Conscience and Reason of Mankind
True to the More Benign View. — Letters of Relief and Joy from Bereaved Fatliers,
Jlothers, Hu.sbands, Wives, etc. — Mistaken Conception of Eternity as an Infinite
Extension of Time.— Scraps of Isolated Texts and Jlisinterj^reted Jewish Metaphors
Not Decisive. — No Eternity of Punishment Deducible from the Old Testament. —
Rabbis, Fathers of the Church, Schoolmen, and Others Cited. — God's Direction in
developing Human Understanding of His Word and Works. — His Boundless Com-
passion for His Creatures Unchanged by the Accident of Death. — No Subordina-
tion Scripturally Permissible of Christ's Advocacy and Propitiation. — " Will the
Lord Cast Off Forever ? " 207


By liev. T. W. FowLE, M. A., Rector of IsUp. Oxford, England.

Perils of the present Transition of Opinion. — Solution of Difficulties to be foimd in
the Silence of Jesus Christ concerning the Future Life. — Sources of Misinterpreta-
tion. — Judaism corrupted by Admixtures of Pagan Eschatology. — The Messianic
•' Age to Come," not the " World to Come." — The " Conclusion of this Age," not
the " End of this World." — Parables of The Tares, of The Pounds, of Lazarus and


Dives.— A Fallacious Foundation for a Gigantic but Unsubstantial Superstnjcture.
— The Critical. Proof of Christ's Silence as to the Future Life confirmed, 1, by his
Character as a Teacher ; 2, by the Character of that Old Testament Dispensation
which he came to Fulfill. — The Characteristics of the Hebrew and Christian Script-
ures, at this Point, dLstinguish them from the Pagan E.schatologies. — And Harmo-

Online LibraryLyman AbbottThat unknown country : or, What living men believe concerning punishment after death, together with recorded views of men of former times. The whole field explored, every source of wisdom, past and pr → online text (page 1 of 75)